Our real estate practice encompasses the development, acquisition, disposition, leasing, financing, and construction of commercial and residential real estate; foreclosures; and development of housing projects. We also handle all types of real estate litigation.
While our attorneys ensure that all work is completed to structure and close transactions, we also help clients identify and develop business opportunities. Through close working relationships, we strive to assist clients in meeting their goals and objectives beyond a single transaction.
Our practice includes the following:
Planned Real Estate Development
Our engagements in this area begin with our involvement at the early stages of residential multifamily complexes, single-family residential subdivisions, condominium developments, and condominium conversions. We establish these developments to afford ownership of the homes under a condominium, cooperative, or homeowner association. Our representation includes the developer/sponsor of common interest communities such as residential condominium and fee-simple subdivided lot communities governed by an association. In addition, we provide counsel to sponsors of residential conversion properties.
Our attorneys are experienced in project registration with the New Jersey Department of Community Affairs on behalf of developers and sponsors. In addition, JMS attorneys routinely handle regulatory issues arising within the jurisdiction of the New Jersey Department of Community Affairs. These matters include public disclosure compliance, conversion and eviction laws, builder registration and new home warranty issues, community association regulations, and building or housing code violations.
Real Estate Leasing
Our attorneys are experienced in representing landlords and tenants in a variety of leasing transactions, including build-to-suit leases, turnkey leases, tenant improvement allowance leases, subleases, office leases, retail leases, warehouse and industrial leases, and residential leases. Leases carry a variety of business and legal risks. Many lease and sublease transactions require an assessment and allocation of costs, benefits and risks. We understand the need to negotiate and document the transaction quickly, while minimizing our client’s legal and business risks. We counsel both landlords and tenants on the practical risk allocation, contracting scheme, and organization of a project team.
Real Estate Litigation
When litigation is unavoidable, JMS attorneys are equipped to handle all aspects of the process. Our litigation and transactional attorneys work collaboratively to deliver cost-effective representation that protects clients’ property and contract interests. We handle a wide range of disputes involving lease interpretation; landlord-tenant disputes; the sale of real property; breaches of leases and real estate contracts; deed and covenant restriction claims; and claims arising from financing as well as actions based on boundary disputes, private/public nuisance claims, easements, and lien and adverse possession claims. Finally, in this time of unprecedented levels of foreclosure filings and bankruptcies, impacted clients turn to us for advice on a variety of issues concerning foreclosures, workouts, and lender-related litigation.
Condominiums and Cooperatives
JMS attorneys have extensive experience representing condominiums, co-ops, homeowner’s associations, individual owners and owner’s groups in a wide variety of legal actions. JMS lawyers have successfully arbitrated and litigated many cases on behalf of associations, individual condominium owners, and homeowners.
Some of the community association services we routinely provide include the following:
- Preparing rules and regulations
- Drafting architectural guidelines that comply with applicable laws and codes
- Advising on affording proper notice and hearing before meetings
- Interpretation, amendment and enforcement of the governing documents, such as Declaration of Condominium, Declaration of Covenants, Conditions and Restrictions, Articles of Incorporation, Bylaws of the Association and the rules and regulations
- General counsel services, i.e., handling day-to-day questions regarding operational, technical, regulatory, and practical issues
- Assisting the Board of Directors on fiscal matters, such as budgeting, levying special assessments, and establishing reserves
- Drafting legal opinions intended for the Board of Directors to ensure satisfaction of fiduciary duties
- Defending the Board of Directors in litigation arising out of allegations of breach of fiduciary duty
- Addressing maintenance and repair issues and distinguishing between those projects which require Board approval and those which require unit owner approval
- Drafting and reviewing contracts for the management, maintenance, repair and operation of the community
- Assisting in planning and developing contracts for construction projects and complying with construction lien laws
- Reviewing loan documents and structuring commercial lines of credit and/or arranging sources of financing
- Representing clients in collection actions, including lien foreclosures for unpaid common expense assessments and rent receiverships
Residential Real Estate
JMS handles every aspect of real estate transactions, including the review, negotiation and drafting of contracts and loan documents. JMS attorneys closely guide individuals from contract to closing, utilizing their broad experience to protect the client’s interests. We resolve inspection and title concerns prior to closing, and carefully review and finalize documentation necessary to complete the transaction. We understand the importance of personal communication and are committed to educating and keeping clients informed throughout the process.